“TO BE A LADY” at Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Singapore

When I first saw the title for this exhibition I was put off. I’m not fond of the word “Lady”, and honestly, in the art world, when used to refer to an artist the term makes my stomach churn. “Lady” carries many subtle and not so subtle cultural signals, but the first thing that springs to mind is politeness and gentility which is, in the mind of this artist, death to the exploratory impulse. Great work is most certainly not polite. So, I was relieved to learn from the press materials that the title of the exhibition was meant to be a provocation of sorts. Still not in love with the moniker, but in this context it makes sense as a linguistic counterpoint to what is so obviously not a ladylike grouping of artists and work. It is simply strong work and the thread that happens to bind the work together is that it happened to be created by some of the greatest visual voices of the 20th century both past and present.

Image

To Be a Lady was organized by Sundaram Tagore Gallery in collaboration with the Brooklyn-based non-profit Norte Maar. A previous iteration of the exhibition was presented in New York in 2012 at the 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery in collaboration with 1285 Avenue of the Americas and Jones Lang LaSalle. Both the current and 2012 versions of the exhibition were curated by Jason Andrew.

Sundaram Tagore Gallery has two galleries in New York, and one each in Hong Kong and Singapore. The Singapore gallery is in a gallery district called Gillman Barracks, which is an old regiment barracks that has been converted into a collection of contemporary art galleries in the heart of Singapore.

http://gillmanbarracks.com

The photos that follow are some of my favorite works that were included in the exhibition. There was also an exquisite Helen Frankenthaler, but unfortunately I was not allowed to photograph it.

For more information about the exhibition please consult the websites of Sundaram Tagore Gallery and also the website of Norte Maar.

http://www.sundaramtagore.com

http://nortemaar.org

Image

Janice Biala

Red Still Life, 1957

Oil on Canvas, 35″ x 46″, Estate of Janice Biala, courtesy Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York

IMG_1644

Installation View

From left, Janice Biala, Hermine Ford, Elizabeth Murray, Jane Lee, Lynda Benglis, Ruth Asawa, Viola Frey and

Ghada Amer

IMG_1664

Foreground:

Lynda Benglis

Beatrice, 1979

Chicken wire, plaster, gesso and gold leaf 39″ x 19″ x 9″ Courtesy of the artist and Cheim & Read, New York

Background:

Dorothea Rockburne

Copal #14, 1977

Kraft Paper, copal oil varnish, Prismacolor pencil #3, 3M 415 tape 39″ x 29″

Courtesy of the artist and Van Doren Waxter Gallery, New York

IMG_1620

Hermine Ford

Bird Music, 2012

Oil paint, ink, watercolor, gouache, pencil and colored pencil on canvas on shaped wood panel 87″ x 38 3/4″ x 3/4″

Courtesy of the artist and Norte Maar

IMG_1621

Hermine Ford Bird Music (Detail)

IMG_1640

Yin Xiuzhen

Body Temperature No. 6, 2010

Clothes, aluminum plate 85.8″ x 25.4″ x 3.9″ Courtesy of the artist and Pace Beijing

IMG_1642

Yin Xiuzhen Body Temperature No. 6 (Detail)

IMG_1630

Ruth Asawa

Plane Tree #16, 1960

Green ink on coated paper 19″ x 25″ Courtesy Amy Wolf Fine Art and Elrick-Manley Fine Art, New York

IMG_1631

Foreground:

Ruth Asawa

Background:

Jane Lee

The Jane Lee piece had been taken off the wall for a small repair. It is meant to be wall mounted.

IMG_1623

Jane Lee

Juju, 2013

Fry acrylic paint, acrylic heavy gel on fiberglass base canvas 110″ diameter

Courtesy of Sundaram Tagore Gallery

IMG_1626

Jane Lee Juju (Detail)

Jane Lee Detail 2

Jane Lee Juju (Detail)

IMG_1634

Pat Steir

Painting with red and gold in the center, 2012

Oil on canvas 60″ x 50″ Courtesy of the artist and Cheim & Read, New York

IMG_1648

Kristen Jensen

Untitled, 2012

Unglazed porcelain and white oak 31″ x 15″ 19″ Courtesy of the artist and Norte Maar

IMG_1636

Grace Hartigan

Pomegranate, 1961-62

Oil on canvas 62 3/4″ x 50″ Private collection, New York

IMG_1650

Visible from left: Nancy Grossman, Vanessa German, Shirin Neshat, Dorothea Rockburne, Judith Murray and Niki de Saint Phalle

IMG_1654

Niki de Saint Phalle

Study for sculpture Tyrannosaurus Rex, c. 1963

Marker, ink, pencil on paper 14.2″ x 19.3″ Virginia Dwan Collection, New York, courtesy Norte Maar

IMG_1655

Niki de Saint Phalle Study for sculpture Tyrannosaurus Rex (Detail)

IMG_1677

Judith Murray

Elements, 2011

Oil on linen 36″ x 40″ Sundaram Tagore Gallery

IMG_1614

Shirley Goldfarb

Orage, 1955

Oil on canvas 51″ x 76 3/4″

Shirley Goldfarb Estate, courtesy Loretta Howard Gallery, New York

IMG_1616

Shirley Goldfarb Orage (Detail)

IMG_1617

Shirley Goldfarb Orage (Detail)

6 responses

  1. Wonderful review of an intriguing and seminal exhibition! Great to see this work of such important contemporary women artists. Thank you for such excellent images, concise writing, and sharing your view. Nice to find your blog, David. Looking forward to future posts.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: